The Big Trail (1930)
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It is at its heart a love song to the pioneering of the untamed west. The pre-trail preparation at the beginning of the movie does a spectacular job of setting up what is to come, and also focuses on giving you the idea of what it's like to prepare for a trek into the wilderness. The plot is simple but many scenes are unlike any other western you've seen before. The river crossing, the cliff descending, the circling of the wagons for an injun attack, it's all spectacularly filmed. It's also interesting how they portrayed the wagon train as almost a ship full of people traveling unknown waters.
A great historical piece illustrating the hardships and trials of pioneering this country. The plot is weak but the action and cinematography is priceless!!
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In 4 official lists
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This movie ranks #7 in 100 Westerns (BFI Screen Guide)
This movie ranks #66 in The British Film Institute: 360 Classics
This movie ranks #453 in National Film Registry
This movie ranks #1045 in Doubling the Canon